TueNight 10: Tara Phillips

Age: 47

Quick Bio: Tara is an educator turned aspiring writer who is currently seeking representation for her first book, WEAK, a memoir. She also writes a blog, “My Year on “Mom”bbatical,” a collection of her reflections and experiences while living in Paris and taking a year-long break from parenting her 14-year old son.

Beyond the Bio: “Spending this year free of the daily demands of parenting, I realized that I had almost forgotten what life was like before my son came along. I am slowly remembering who I am and what truly sets my soul on fire. I have spent the past 25 years managing and leading in my career, but now, I want to create and connect with my artist self again. As I get older, I am enjoying watching my son get older. Engaging with him at a distance, I’m able to see him as a person. Our interactions feel like a choice we are making together and I find that I really like him as a human being. That feels really good because I’d like to think that I played a part in that somehow.”

1. On the nightstand: Three different notebooks: One for journaling, one as a general to-do list keeper and one for capturing writing ideas. Also, my Kindle on which I’m reading a sci-fi book called Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau.

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Maximizing. I took a StrengthsFinders quiz almost fifteen years ago and discovered that I am a maximizer. I will never stop striving for excellence in living, seeking joy and fulfillment in every moment, even through tearful ones.

3. Jam of the minute: So back in the day, I used to be mildly obsessed with the show ER, in particular, the relationship between Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway. I discovered that you can stream ER on Hulu a couple of months ago and I was hooked again. I stumbled upon a Carol/Doug montage on YouTube to a “pitched” version of Taylor Swift’s song, “This Love“. The song is beautiful and doesn’t sound anything like Taylor Swift, and now the song plays on repeat in my head — never thought I would be saying that about a T. Swift song in my life!

4. Thing I miss: I miss being called by my nickname, Pee Wee. My father gave it to me when I was little, and that’s what he called me all my life until he died a few years ago. I still have emails addressed to me as Pee Wee. I hear it whispered sometimes in my head, but it’s not the same.

5. 80s crush: James Ingram and Jan Michael Vincent when he was in The Winds of War.

6. Current crush: Mark Ruffalo. I love his hair and his politics.

7. Will whine about: Don’t get me started…how fed up I am with the United States, people dying from a lack of healthcare, inequitable access to quality education, children being killed at school, Black people being traumatized by law enforcement and others while just doing regular stuff — all of the by-products of white supremacy.

8. Will wine about: I am living in Paris, we pretty much wine about anything.

9. Best thing that happened recently: I watched the sunset over Malaga, Spain and ate grilled sardines right on the beach while being served by a hot Spaniard wearing a Harlem t-shirt. My father was born and raised in Harlem so it was really cool synchronicity.

10. Looking forward to: Traveling to Venice in April with my mother and being reunited with my son. I really miss him.

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